"I have demonstrated a life of serving the humblest of our society. By serving them faithfully you can rest assured that I will serve all those that are in the City of Erie. The service has not stopped at me though, I have been able to inspire others to serve. I hope to continue this service as a member of Erie City Council."
LIST OF ISSUES
Erie has some of the highest property taxes in the state and as third class cities go, one of the lowest income tax rates. This leaves the city residents burdened with taxes at a higher rate than other city residents. It also means that suburban commuters that are dependent on the city infrastructure and services do not pay their fair share.
The high property tax rate also offers a strong disincentive for people living in the city and drives people to our surrounding towns. Shifting to a Land Value Tax like other similar cities in PA is a unique opportunity to help investment and shift burden against disinvestment. Allentown and Harrisburg are successful examples. A shocking majority of owner occupiers save money.
A surplus would be created to offer incentives for those that are harmed by this shift in policy to benefit their ability to invest in their home neighborhoods
Admittedly, Chuck is the median age of Erie residents and a straight white male, but his work in ministry demonstrates a clear effort to become all things to all people. Whereas much of Erie has functioned in small camps to recognize their own particular interests, Chuck has done incredible work being and advocate for others from all backgrounds.
The work he has done brings together people from the broadest of backgrounds in a shared community. As he has served in this way already, you can be confident that his service will continue in the political sphere. Among the goals is to see Erie more accessible with PROWAG standards.
Coming from the West Bayfront, since the city organized under 3rd class city code, there has only been 1 term of city council representation. Chuck hopes to see the city work towards a hybrid model of at large and ward representation in order support stronger neighborhoods and connections as well as provide opportunity for under represented communities.
Removing the disincentive to be a homeowner in Erie paired with incentives to become a homeowner will lead to a higher stake for residents in their neighborhoods. Homeowners are found to take a higher interest in the maintenance of their homes. In addition, a strong history of providing volunteers and encouraging neighborhood engagement like community toolboxes will provide and stimulate an organic approach to solving the problems in our community at an individual level.
With the county's efforts for coordinated re-entry, the streamlining of services recently, and an emphasis on "housing first" care, our most impoverished neighbors have had an improved quality of life, but the city has been regressive in this time.
Chuck's familiarity with our most impoverished neighbors and their needs will be a new perspective on city council. Not just someone that will "hear their voice" but someone that has proven that he will do the work to care for them. There are plenty of examples out there of cities that are doing a great job of attacking poverty at its lowest levels and caring well for their neighbors. Some examples can be found here.
Erie needs representation of digital natives to help navigate the opportunities of the city. The Mayor's recent proposal of public wifi in LED street lights is an example of the opportunities that may improve our city. Especially when it would save the city in utilities and steward the environment. However, if you were to look on the City website (as of March 12th) you may struggle to find the address of City Hall. Opportunities need explored and encouraged, but with a critical eye.
Home Rule Charter
Cities throughout the nation and state have used Home Rule Charters to be unshackled from policies created by rural and suburban communities and rightly be recognized as the economic driver of a community.